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Scottish ISP Iomart is offering small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) free broadband for a year if they subscribe to its NetIntelligence security product.

Outfits signing up to the NetIntelligence service - which costs £29.99 a month and provides mail filtering, monitoring and reporting designed to protect company email systems from viruses, spam and phishers - will get high-speed net access free for 12 months.

The offer of free broadband follows a deal with BT designed to make it easier for operators to offer broadband. By using a white-label broadband product from BT Wholesale called "BroadbandScope", it means Iomart can offer its punters broadband while remaining "hands-off". Iomart is the first company to sign a BroadbandScope deal with BT Wholesale.

The Glasgow-based company has already been testing the offer for a couple of months without any marketing and has been signing up around 50 new customers a month. At the end of November Iomart plans to start marketing the product for real and ramping up the offer.

Separately, Thus - the Glasgow-based alternative telco behind the Demon internet brand - has won a contract to upgrade the telecomms network serving Scottish Prison Service (SPS).

As part of the deal Thus will provide a secure, flexible MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) IP Virtual Private Network linking its HQ to 15 prisons and young offenders institutions throughout Scotland.

Like SPS's inmates, financial details were not released. ®

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